Thanks to Guillermo del Toro, Mexican horror cinema is firmly on the map. However, it’s a country with a rich tradition of genre cinema. Mexican director Amat Escalante caused a stir in 2013 when his brutal, gritty and earthy Heli wowed and stunned audiences on the festival circuit. For his latest film, Escalante follows in the wake of Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We are the Flesh, creating a sci-fi/body horror with an erotic twist.
Ale (Ruth Ramos) is frustrated by her life. She lives with her macho husband (Jesús Meza), who is more interested in going out with his friends than being with her and their two kids. He’s also secretly having an affair with her gay brother Fabián (Eden Villavicencio), who he derides and abuses in public. When a strange woman (Simone Bucio) enters Fabián’s life, she promises him the sexual satisfaction he’s been lacking.
The Untamed is one of the strangest films you’re likely to see this year. Escalante, known for his raw depictions of working-class Mexican life, ventures into the territory of the fantastical. At the same time, the film retains the kind of social commentary and edginess we’ve come to expect. It makes for a unique and rather bizarre viewing experience. It’s beautifully off-kilter with some gorgeous imagery. The Untamed is a singular film which scrambles genres in a way which leaves an eerie aftertaste.
The Untamed is out in cinemas from Friday.